Today, I am furious. I am furious, because I just watched a brother die. He was a man I’ve never met, living in a country I’ve never seen, speaking a language I have never spoken, but he was a brother none the less. He stood on the front line, the one cloaked in blue, and gave his life in defense of others. He was killed because he represented that which is good. The world feels his loss. Some will say that he was killed because of his uniform. It’s understandable to think, especially with so many cell phone warriors standing by unscathed while he died. It was so much more than a tin shield on his chest that drew the ire of evil terrorists, though. He was murdered, executed really, because he represented qualities that the enemy cannot understand. Qualities like civility, mercy, equality, and order. He possessed a depth of character that showed bravery, courage, and selflessness. He represented all the enemy hates about Western society. He stood a symbol of democratic freedom, an enforcer of laws chosen by the men and women that those laws govern. He wasn’t murdered for who he was. He was killed for so much more than that. He was killed for what he represented.
I am furious because of the narrative some have tried to ascribe to him, too. I’ve read comment after comment on social media claiming he surrendered. That is inexcusable. To me, the video is clear. He took on three armored gunman armed with long guns, and he lost. Nevertheless, he tried. He gave his life to the good fight, ensuring that a legacy of good over evil lives on. He was and remains a hero as much as any man who ever gave his life so that others might live. He may have lost the battle, but the war is far from over. It will go on. Battles will be won and lost, but ultimately good will prevail. I have to believe that.
I am furious because the attitude in my country has returned to the “It can’t happen here” foolishness. We tell our police, those who will wage this war when it comes again to our shores, that they are too militaristic, too heavily armed, too prepared for combat. There is a war going on, even here. Many attacks you’ve never heard of, because they never happened. They were thwarted by good men and women fighting the good fight. Eventually, though, they will fail. We will have our Beslan, our Westgate, our Charlie Hebdo. When our police are engaging teams of terrorists armored and armed with heavy weapons, will you call for demilitarization then? Will you still believe that because Barney Fife could lock up the fictional town drunk Otis carrying a single bullet and a wheel gun, a modern police officer should be able to handle any situation with the same? If we wait until the fight makes it here, then we have waited too long. Our police should have everything they need, both training and equipment, for this threat at their disposal before it happens. Now, I’m not calling for police to show up on every domestic complaint in full kit with a M4 slung across their chest, but those items should be available in the event they are needed. And, unfortunately, they will be needed. It’s only a matter of time.